For a long while, Izzet Phoenix was the best deck in Modern.
It had everything you could really want. It was a fair and resilient deck with tons of interaction, but it also had the ability to attack for double digit damage on turn three. It also utilized the best card in the format at the time, Faithless Looting. Faithless Looting would of course be banned, which in turn would see Arclight Phoenix fade into the sunset.
Then Throne of Eldraine gave us Merchant of the Vale, while reality slowly set in that everything else that made Izzet Phoenix an amazing deck was still around. Haggle is a major downgrade to Faithless Looting, but isn't everything? And even slightly powered down with Haggle and Chart a Course, Thing In The Ice, Manamorphose, and friends are still really good!
00:03:14 - Match 1
00:25:34 - Match 2
00:53:23 - Match 3
01:34:37 - Match 4
01:54:16 - Match 5
Izzet Phoenix | Modern | camr0n_1, 5-0 Magic Online League
- Lands (18)
- 2 Mountain
- 3 Island
- 1 Fiery Islet
- 2 Misty Rainforest
- 2 Steam Vents
- 4 Scalding Tarn
- 4 Spirebluff Canal
The birb has still got it!
Thing In The Ice is as good as it ever was, providing a fast clock and amazing board control, while Aria of Flame is an excellent sideboard juke against graveyard hate or removal. One of the best things about the deck is how each part is so different than the others. Graveyard hate is great against Arclight Phoenix, but bad against Thing In The Ice. Removal is great against Thing In The Ice, but awful against Arclight Phoenix. This puts your opponent in a really tough spot, especially when you bring in a threat like Aria of Flame out of the board that dodges both.
We did struggle against the pure Sultai Control deck, which had the tough combination of counterspells, graveyard hate, and easy removal for Thing In The Ice, but overall this was a pretty impressive league. The sideboard may want another card for matchups like that, maybe something like Saheeli, Sublime Artificer or Ral Zarek, Izzet Viceroy. I also wouldn't mind shaving down on Izzet Charm and finding room for more copies of Chart a Course in the maindeck.
But still, this was a great run with a deck many had written off. Dust off those Arclight Birbs and let fly!